A STRANGE SOLITUDE by Philippe Sollers


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Translated from the French and told in the first person this is a ""sensitive"" novel about a young man's early love affair and his tentative groupings toward maturity. As a boy of 16 the narrator grew vaguely in love with Concha, the Spanish nurse brought into his household. In the beginning he thought that he was as much in love with Spain and the Spanish language, but it was Concha's indifference and the fact that she resisted his inexperience which made her seem remote and therefore the more desirable. Still the affair leaves him unsatisfied: the workings of Concha's mind evaded him. She leaves the house under mysterious circumstances and it is not until the narrator is 20 that the two meet again in Paris. He had spent a winter full of anxieties and loneliness in a ""strange solitude"" in which it seemed as though the world had disappeared. His realization that Concha, who ""moved through her life with an absolute availability and an absolute detachment"" was, in a sense, solitude itself, ""cures"" him of his youth and he feels that he is saved. There is in this first novel a certain poetic intensity and a discernment which sees and weighs all possibilities without being diminished by the extreme self-consciousness of the narrative.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1959
Publisher: Grove Press